Dialectics of Defeat: Towards a Theory of Historical Regression
Panel presentation by the Platypus Affiliated Society at Left Forum 2009: "Turning Points," Pace University, NYC, April 17-19, 2009
The panelists elucidate significant moments in the progressive separation of theory and practice in the 20th and 21st Century history of Leftist politics: 2001 (Spencer Leonard); 1968 (Atiya Khan); 1933 (Richard Rubin); and 1917 (Chris Cutrone). Each of these dates marked fundamental transformations on the Left. How do we relate to their legacies today? How has the problem of relating theory to practice, and ends to means, been dealt with politically on the Left? How has the political thought and action associated with each of these historical turning points revealed or obscured problems on the Left? How do the historical failures of the Left affect possibilities for the Left today and in the future?
A panel discussion with: Benjamin Blumberg (Chair) Chris Cutrone Atiya Khan Spencer Leonard Richard Rubin